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Rectal Biopsy, Histo/Path

Important Note

To obtain weekend or holiday results, special arrangements must be made with Pathologist on call, 12-24 hours in advance.  Weekend biopsies should be discussed beforehand with pathologist on call. 

Clinical System Name

Surgical Pathology Final Report


Rectal Bx

Hirschsprung's biopsy


Rectal mucosa/submucosa is biopsied to assess the presence of submucosal ganglion cells in patients with pseudo-obstruction and a clinical concern for Hirschsprung’s disease. In neonates and young infants, suction rectal biopsy is the favored approach.  Biopsies from multiple levels (eg,  1, 2 and 3 cm proximal to the dentate line) increase the likelihood that adequate tissue is obtained.

Sample Requirements

Specimen:  Tissue

Container(s):  see note

Preferred Vol:  One-two suction rectal biopsy fragments from each site, procured at 1, 2 and 3 cm proximal to the dentate line

Minimum Vol:  One fragment from 2 sites


Note:  Submit sample from each site in a separate container with location clearly noted.  Do not combine biopsies from separate sites.  A completed surgical pathology request form including hospital number, name, date of birth, date of procedure, pre-op diagnosis, clinical history, ordering physician, and any other pertinent information must be submitted with the specimen.   The request to "R/O Hirschsprung's disease" should be clearly indicated.


Send specimen fixed in 10% formalin to 8th floor lab CPA or Histology (OC.8.901).  Specific handling instructions may be obtained from Histology at (206) 987-2580. 

Processing Instructions

Reject due to: na

Spin:  N

Aliquot:  N

Temp: RT

Note:  Notify Histology immediately when specimen arrives in Lab.  Contact on-call pathologist if Histology is unavailable.


Off-site collection:  Specific handling instructions may be obtained from Histology at (206) 987-2580. 


Specimen Type Temperature Time
Rectal Tissue Room temp 24 hrs (formalin)
  Refrigerated N
  Frozen N



STAT Performed TAT
N M-F 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. 1 day


Performing Laboratory

Seattle Children's Laboratory  


Department:  Histology

Phone Number: (206) 987-2580; for results inquiries call (206) 987-2103.




Method:  Routine formalin fixation with paraffin embedding and standard sectioning; additional stains as dictated by histopathologic findings

Analytical Volume:  na

CPT Codes

CPT codes will vary depending on tests performed.  Call Client Services for more information (206) 987-2617.


Surgical pathology requisition required.